I took the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam in October 2011. Two months later I received the results, stating that I passed (YAY!). Hopefully I can pass on a couple tips from my experience with the test!
|Pass the FE Exam|
Calculator: The most important tip I can give is to get a good calculator and learn how to use it to the fullest extent. I’m partial to Texas Instruments (TI) calculators, so I looked up what was allowed for the exam. I found that, for TI branded calculators, “TI-36” must be part of the name. The most powerful calculator fitting that description was the “TI-36X PRO,” so I ordered it. I did a review of the calculator in a previous post (link). Bottom line is that it is a great calculator for this test. I know that some people take pride in doing calculations in their head, but during the morning portion, you will have so many questions to answer that you will likely be crunched for time. Some of the math questions on the morning portion will simply take a couple keystrokes on the right calculator. This time savings will help you when you reach the subjects you struggle with.
Handbook: The second most important tip I can give is to print out the NCEES handbook (the PDF they give you with all the formulas), get it bound and use it to solve a bunch of practice problems. I know that we are in the digital age where we mostly look at documents on a computer screen, but this is one document where you need to actually have a hard copy. Note that the handbook is over 200 pages, which makes it very unwieldy if it is not bound. Again, like the calculator, some of the questions on the morning exam will be answered implicitly by the handbook. On exam day, when you are struggling with a problem, you will have two resources to help you out: your handbook and your calculator. If you are not familiar with either resource, they won’t be very much help.
Review Manual: My school did not offer a review course, so I bought Michael R. Lindeburg’s FE Review Manual. This book only prepares you for the morning portion but it does a great job. It has practice questions at the end of each chapter and a full 4 hour practice test in the back. In general, I felt like the questions on the actual FE Exam were easier than Lindeburg’s practice questions. Perhaps this was on purpose, but it made me feel confident on exam day. Also, the pages before the first chapter contain very good general information about the exam, such as what to bring and what to expect on exam day. I would recommend getting this book.
Also check out my post on FE Exam Strategy (link)
Lindeburg's Review Manual: http://ppi2pass.com/shop/fe-eit-exam/fe-eit-exam-review-materials
Great resource site: http://www.feexamreview.com/